El Calafate by Baz
Well, we´ve been busy over the last 3 weeks, and have had a wonderful time. We´ve had our ups and downs on the trip to date and at times have been tired and weary from all the travelling, but our recent experiences and the fantastic people we´ve met have contributed to a great few weeks.
El Calafate and the Glacier
We were delighted to get a cheap flight down to El Calafate from Buenos Aires.It was with LADE, who are the Armys airline. We arrived at the airport fearing we may be given a parachute rather than a meal on the plane, but all was well. We both almost passed out as the place turned sharply after takeoff, but that was the height of the excitement. El Calafate is not much to look at. In the South of Argentina, it is primarily used as a base for the treks and climbs in the beautiful Andies mountains of Patagonia. On our 3rd day there we visited to impressive Perito Moreno Glacier and it was a real treat. It is situated in the national park and measures 30km in length and is 5km wide. It starts at the top of a mountain which is high enough that it snows there almost constantly. The snow compacts into ice and starts to slide slowly down the mountain. It travels for some 300 years at about 3 metres per day and at the end breaks off the end of the glacier into the lake in spectacular style. As the glacier is constantly moving we only had to wait for around 10 minutes to see a massive piece of ice break off and explode into the lake with great force.
After viewing the glacier from a distance we took a boat along its South side. It was so impressive up close, rising around 60 metres above the surface of the water, and with a blue glow to it. We then had the honour of walking on the glacier. We had to stick to a very precise route marked out by our guide, as there are many drain holes in the ice that could mean a drop of up to 100 metres. It was fantastic and we got some great photos.Before we left the glacier our guide took us to a small wooden table containing a couple of bottles of Jameson Whisky and 12 glasses. He broke some of the glacier ice into the glasses and we enjoyed a whisky on the (300 year old glacier) rocks. Definitely one of our highlights.
I have lots more to write, about Puerto Madryn, the whales, the beautiful Bariloche and El Bolson, but unfortunately we have to catch a bus to Chili in an hour so I must go. Ill update soon.